Everyone always says they want a destination wedding. Then after the guest list starts to pile up and you look into airfare, hotel stay, and the look on Grandma’s face when she realizes she can’t make it to the ceremony, people dishearteningly opt-out. Even after all that, we opted in and here’s why.
Ever since I was 10-years-old I wanted to get married in the Bahamas. It was my family’s second home and our vacation spot every year. There was something so magical about the warm breeze, the kind-hearted people and the care-free atmosphere.
Then in May of this year, I got engaged (yay) and the wedding planning began. It’s funny because at first, we didn’t even have a destination wedding on the table. It’s not that we didn’t think it would be cool, but with both of our large Polish families in the mix, it just didn’t seem feasible.
We started looking at venues and everything was… okay. You see the thing was, our guest list was already at 240 people. So at this point we weren’t looking at venues because we liked them. We were simply trying to find a place that could accommodate at least 200 people and not bankrupt my father. This proved to be quite the challenge and I quickly became discouraged.
So as we left another venue that once again proved to be too expensive and not our taste, I looked at my fiance and said: “Would you be mad if I said screw all this and let’s just get married in the Bahamas?” He then looked at me with a big smile and said he was so down.
We didn’t know how it was going to work or what it would entail, but from that moment on I had it in my mind that I was getting married on an island.
The idea just seemed to fit. I am someone who couldn’t imagine having 200 eyes on me while I recite my handwritten vows to my soon-to-be husband. I cherish the intimate nature of my family and having a destination wedding took the pressure off.
To our surprise, both sets of parents were in love with the idea. And to our even bigger surprise, putting together a small wedding package without the bells and whistles was very much under budget. Who needs $10,000 in flowers when you have paradise as your backdrop?
Because of our simplistic wedding approach, we actually had enough of our budget leftover to put together an at-home reception with all of our family and friends. By laying out all the options and getting smart with our choices, we managed to put together an amazing and quaint wedding ceremony with a mini-reception in Atlantis, Bahamas. Then we planned a larger reception with all of our guests at home which will include buffet-style food, open bar and a DJ all night.
And all of this came in on budget. Which, if you are wedding planning, is a huge win and almost never happens!
Now more then ever, I am so excited for my special day(s). I cannot wait to share my wedding with those that are closest to me and then continue the celebration with all of my friends and family.
So if you are thinking about planning a destination wedding, but disheartened by the logistics, don’t rule it out right away! It may not be the best option for you, but to our surprise, it actually worked out better than we could have hoped.
If you’re trying to save some money when it comes to your big day, check out my tips and tricks to keeping your wedding budget down.